Every Gem Requires Compromise

Dealer Anup Jogani discusses the importance of compromise in the evaluation of, and vision for, gemstones.

Natural gemstones are temperamental beasts. Part of the beauty of dealing in this specific type of good is that we work with what we have. The objective is to produce as lovely of a stone as possible from the material that’s extracted from the earth, and that process inevitably involves compromise.

For instance, the color zoning and banding in a single gemstone may vary throughout its structure. To achieve the best face-up result, a dealer and cutter must work in conjunction to deliver the appropriate amounts of color concentration to the face of the stone. Reaching the optimal zone of balancing color concentrations with all of the various other qualities that contribute to a stone’s shine is an art of the highest degree. It’s one of the most difficult jobs in this business, and even experienced and advanced cutters don’t always achieve the most favorable results.

emerald and diamond ring

The very best gemstones, with the greatest color, are so hard to find because not only do you have to find the right material, but you have to cut and express the material correctly. You’ve got to tease the color, similar to how one would mix paints, except that process is more difficult in gemstones because you can’t correct any wrongdoings. Every cut, every action, is permanent.

Sapphires can have blue, grey, green, violet tones to them, but blending all of those hues well, so that a beautiful, natural, harmonious stone is demonstrated at the face, is a different story. If a sapphire is too blue, it doesn’t look real, but if it’s too much of any other color, it doesn’t look like a high-quality stone. If you lose the color altogether, the allure leaks out.